We must protect ourselves from fire

Fire safety and the role it plays in your life depend on many things, including your attitude. All of us need to learn how to protect ourselves and family members from the hazards of fire.
We all need to be reminded to be responsible, to think, and to make time for fire safety!
There has been a rash of fires in the Canada, and some of these were fatal ones. All fire deaths are tragic but it is extremely upsetting and heartbreaking when the victims are children. So many years of potential life lost!
I would like to share some fire safety facts and tips with you.
The vast majority of Canadians have smoke alarms but many of these alarms are not in working order because the batteries are dead or have been removed.
Some provinces have estimated that 40 percent of smoke alarms in homes do not work! This year, I responded to a house fire and with luck, someone was still awake when the fire started.
Why were they lucky? The home had no working smoke alarms!
Fact: working smoke alarms save lives! Properly installed and maintained working smoke alarms are critical for early detection of fire.
Take a few minutes each week to test your alarms by pushing the alarm test button. But this only tests the audible alarm, not the smoke sensors. You need to test your smoke alarms monthly using smoke from a smoldering cotton string, incense stick, or candle wick.
When returning home from a vacation, recheck the alarms–even if you’ve only been gone a week. The alarm’s low-battery warning only chirps for a short time before the battery is completely dead!
Install new batteries every six months when you change your clocks in the spring and fall, or when needed. If the low-battery warning beeps, replace the battery immediately. This action may be the smartest investment you ever make!
Dust can clog a smoke alarm. Use your vacuum cleaner to clean your alarms. Carefully vacuum the inside and outside of a battery-powered unit with a soft brush attachment.
If the alarm is electrically connected, shut off the power and vacuum the outside vents only. Make sure you test the unit when you restore the power.
You may only have seconds to escape a house fire. A fire can engulf a home or cottage in six minutes or less. But smoke—which is the real killer–can engulf your home or cottage in two minutes or less!
Developing and practising a well-rehearsed home escape plan with two ways out of each room is critical to your family’s survival.
No one needs to die in a fire! Ultimately, your family’s safety is your responsibility. If fire strikes and the blanket of smoke descends, you could be lost in your own home.
The only light will be deadly–and coming your way!
Remember, fire safety starts with you!

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